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Israel to boost G550 surveillance fleet

With demand for surveillance aircraft rising in the face of new threats in the Middle East region, Israel's air force is increasing the size of its fleet of special mission-adapted Gulfstream G550 business jets.

The head of the service's aircraft department – who can be identified only as Col H – confirms that an additional special mission asset based on the G550 is under construction. He declines to identify which role the aircraft will conduct once in operational use.

Israel's air force currently uses two variants of the G550: an airborne early warning and control system model named "Eitam", and a "Shavit" version tasked with communications/electronic intelligence-gathering tasks. Flight Fleets Analyzer records the service as having two and three of these types, respectively.

With the current assets aged between 10 and 12 years, the new aircraft will be equipped with upgraded systems offering enhanced performance.

The "Nachshon" squadron, which operates both variants of the modified business jets, is one of the Israeli air force's busiest units, and the new addition will allow it to better respond to operational requirements.

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